Sunday, October 16, 2011

'...there are lit up moments, and the rest is dark.'

The above is a quote from Jeanette Winterson's wonderful book, Lighthousekeeping (Fourth Estate, London, 2004) which I finished reading a few days ago.

It was a revelation, quite possibly the best book I've read for... goodness knows how long. Everything about it is luminous, from the names of the characters - Silver, Miss Pinch, Pew, Josiah Dark, DogJim - to the language ( 'As for myself, I am splintered by great waves.' says Dark on page 166) to the commentary on storytelling itself.

There's also a sense of transcendence to the narrative voice - it's the kind of voice that creates a feeling of total uniqueness yet, at the same time, there is immediate recognition and connection. The kind of voice every writer longs for and reaches for. I was heading home from paragraph one.

So much is confessed, so much is not explained, and it all makes the most perfect sense - oh, for such narrative discernment, such confidence!

On page 134 the main character Silver says, '...and the stories I want to tell you will light up part of my life and leave the rest in darkness. You don't need to know everything. There is no everything. The stories themselves make the meaning.'

If you haven't already, read this book.

Here is a link to some reviews of Lighthousekeeping.

1 comment:

  1. I like the 'there is no everything. The stories themselves make the meaning.'

    Thanks for the heads-up on this book. I'll check it out.